{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’ve long disliked the term ethics. Definitions of ethics all refer to morals. Morals are very personal and vary a lot from person to person, culture to culture. Law is how we as a society express our preferences and impose rules and restrictions on ourselves. So the question should never be about whether companies can be ethical. What does that mean? One person thinks eating meat is unethical, another thinks it’s perfectly ethical. Companies should focus on complying with the law.", "post_id": "5eb080063e8f5c002b55b616", "reply_count": 3, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5eac46fcb3fa8f001c71fe4c", "bowl_name": "Ethics In Business" }

I’ve long disliked the term ethics. Definitions of ethics all refer to morals. Morals are very personal and vary a lot from person to person, culture to culture. Law is how we as a society express our preferences and impose rules and restrictions on ourselves. So the question should never be about whether companies can be ethical. What does that mean? One person thinks eating meat is unethical, another thinks it’s perfectly ethical. Companies should focus on complying with the law.

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So blurring the truth around the health impact of high sugar content in packaged food is okay as long as it is not legally binding to disclose the information in full?

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You're right that morals are personal and can vary. But companies are diverse, often multi-national, formed with individuals that may have different religions, socio-economic backgrounds, life experiences...and as a result they do need to have standards that set out how everyone is going to act and be treated. And the fact that different companies may have different ethical standards doesn't mean that ethics don't matter...the point is that each company needs a North Star, a purpose, a mission that will guide how it acts. To the extent that the purpose resonates with and inspires employees and customers, it will be more successful. If 2 companies have different standards, it doesn't mean that one is wrong and one is right...I think they're BOTH better off for recognizing that having ethical standards actually matters...far better than the company that just throws up its hands and says that it has no ethical standards.

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If accounting and consulting companies can't tell the difference between ethics and morals, they shouldn't have policies in place that require people to report ethical violations.

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